Is there a dinosaur hiding in your resume?

Two of the most dreaded words that resume writers hate to see in your resume are:


When I look at someone’s resume or LinkedIn profile and see those words, I cringe, much like the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. Resumes and the related LinkedIn profile and other bios on social media should speak with the active voice.

Is there a dinosaur hiding in your resume?

Create a proactive, value-driven resume that focuses on your value. The words “responsible for” is the dinosaur hiding in your resume. Old words that mean nothing.

You are not writing a job description. Many people confuse resume writing with job descriptions because so many news articles tell you to make sure your resume matches the job description. Sometimes that advice is just bad and other times the reader misinterprets the meaning.

Why the dinosaur hiding in your resume causes problems

A common phrase in job descriptions is “responsible for” but this is the lazy person’s way of describing duties. The employer may want to know you can manage the functions described as duties but the reality is that they want to know how you will add value to the company when you perform those duties.

Dynamic, vibrant resumes deploy a storytelling strategy to help the reader to better understand the value the job seeker offers to the employer.

Storytelling captures the function of the job but enhances it with the rest of the story:

Implementation Event App – Automated event experience to streamline and elevate communications for employee and customer events with an event app.

Revitalized creative team, transforming strategic planning and execution of product marketing campaigns and content development injecting share-worthy video, digital, brand experiences, and promotions.

Food Safety Program Development – Executed and led International Dairy Foods Association’s joint HACCP pilot operation with cheese manufacturer, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state regulatory agency to develop an industry-wide food safety program.

Tackled top-of-mind solutions directly impacting customers’ journeys to open doors with key customers and architect complex solutions through offering the highest industry credibility and technical expertise in diverse areas: Server/CI, Systems Management, Business Apps, Networking, and Storage.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT – Enhanced communication and boosted employee engagement by collaborating closely with plant employees and leaders. Decreased turnover by double digits annually for 3 years and delivered multi-million-dollar turnover savings over three years – happier employees.

Digital Transformation – Spearheaded automation of the risk assessment process using Power BI, an interactive data visualization BI tool, delivering improved reporting and labor savings.

I write highly targeted, accomplishment-filled resumes capture what you contributed in each of your roles and translates your stories into substance that the hiring manager desires, learn more here.

Design Resumes Free Job Search Tips by email

Tips on LinkedIn, Resumes, and Job Search to help you better navigate your career journey

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Is there a dinosaur hiding in your resume?


  1. Ed Han on June 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Thanks for the mention, Julie!

    • Julie Walraven on June 29, 2010 at 6:57 am

      You are welcome, Ed! Thank you for your comments on both LinkedIn and Twitter!

  2. Cindy Kraft on June 29, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Thanks for the mention, Julie. Twice in one week … and it’s only Tuesday!

    Ed – loved the limp handshake visual!

    • Julie Walraven on June 29, 2010 at 6:57 am

      Cindy, you started the visual for the topic, you had to be included! Thank you… Isn’t he a lovely dinosaur?

  3. Amy L. Adler on June 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the results of your poll! I always think that “responsible for” means the person indeed was responsible for whatever it was, but they might have benignly neglected it. There is ZERO power to that useless phrase.

    • Julie Walraven on June 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Good thoughts, Amy, and thank you for stopping by. I think that phrase has been drilled into my head as the one to erase from resumes for years but I see it popping up all over lately.

  4. Kirk Baumann on July 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Great article! I hate seeing “responsible for” on resumes. The whole point of the resume is to show off your accomplishments and achievements, not your job description. Am I right? Being able to effectively communicate what you do (or did) is extremely important. Quantify your results, and highlight how you took on leadership roles, etc.

    Nice job on this post. Keep up the great work!
    .-= Kirk Baumann´s last blog ..Building Your Own A-Team =-.

    • Julie Walraven on July 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you, Kirk,I’m glad you agree. Yes, accomplishments, achievements and tell the stories, quantify and qualify! Challenge, Action, Result! 🙂 You got it!

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.